The Barrels Program is up and running again as all volunteers have begun their shifts for the spring semester.  We have some new volunteers who are excited to start helping, and many returning volunteers who have gotten back into the swing of things.  Some volunteers are cooking delicious cookies, while others are helping to keep the store looking as cozy and welcoming as it always is. Come on down, support a local business, and say hi to some great dedicated volunteers!

Spending a morning with a group of wide-eyed high school students may not be on every college student’s bucket list, but I couldn’t think of a better way to start my day.

Last Wednesday I led a tour of Colby for a group of 15 high school juniors from Mt. Abrams High School, a small school in Western Maine.  The students had traveled over an hour to get to Waterville, but despite the early morning, frost-heave heavy bus ride, the group was wide awake and eager to walk around in the chilly Maine morning.

From asking critical questions about the quality of the dining hall food and the variety of dorming options to more involved questions about Colby’s academic programs and study abroad opportunities, the students on my tour were obviously eager to figure out their futures. Leading this group of respectful and hilarious students around Colby’s beautiful—though frigid—campus reminded me why I decided to pursue a degree in education.

As a tour guide for Maine Aspirations, my goal is inform Maine middle and high school students about the benefits of pursuing higher education and the opportunities that a college degree can provide.  As a native Mainer, I know how easy it is for students to simply give up on education after high school, opting to stay in their home towns rather than try new things simply because they are unaware of the opportunities that lie beyond town, county, and even state lines. Watching the eyes of the students on my tour light up at the thought of spending a semester in London or studying in Belize for Jan Plan made me realize that, as a tour guide and a future teacher, sometimes planting the smallest seeds of desire in young students minds is enough to help them change their futures.

-Written by Morgan Rublee ’14

Birthday Wishes has been off to a busy start this second semester! In January we hosted a party for a 13 year old girl, a 14 year old boy and a new born baby! It was a busy month, but we are glad to see that local Maine families are finding respite, warmth and safety at the Shelter. Surprisingly, in February, we did not have any children celebrating birthdays! However, we brought a pack of volunteers down to the shelter to play games and make crafts with the children.  Sammie ’16 was definitely the best at limbo, but Michelle ’16 pulled out her camp counselor tricks of the trade to entertain the young ones.  We are excited about the new faces joining our ranks of volunteers and are looking forward to what March has to offer!

Today in Rising Readers, we introduced magazines to our first grade class during their library time.  We looked at Highlights Magazine, Ranger Rick, Zootles, and National Geographic for Kids.  The kids love the magazines because there are cool pictures, interesting and easy to read stories, and fun games in the back!  Almost half the class decided to check out a magazine for the week!


On Sunday, the women’s ice hockey team volunteered at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, organizing all of the donations that the shelter received over the winter.


On Sunday at Sugarloaf, the football team assisted in the opening day of the Maine Special Olympics. Members of the football team and staff helped to organize and setup for the pre-event dinner as well as serving meals and cleanup. Furthermore to cap off the evening members of the team and staff participated in ice skating with participants as well as a karaoke event.

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Welcome back everybody for JanPlan! The CVC does not have office hours this month, but, if you need to reach us, feel free to email us at [email protected] As always, taxi vouchers are available outside our office.

This semester, Common Street Arts has been working with Colby students to increase volunteer hours. We have the most hours that we’ve ever had, with a total of 20 hours! It certainly helped that we set up for the gallery’s Holiday Bazaar, which is ongoing through the month of December. The volunteers got to do more than the usual gallery sits–we patched up and sanded walls, tagged art works, and even helped out on opening night. The Bazaar is a great opportunity to see what local artists work on, and it adds another great connection between Colby and the surrounding areas of Maine. The gallery has an amazing space and its mission to spread creativity throughout Waterville and its surrounding areas is certainly underway.